the breaker upperers trailer

The New Zealand comedy scene has a new pair of stars in the form of Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami, the stars and directors of the quirky unromantic comedy The Breaker Upperers. Van Beek and Sami star as two cynical women who open an agency that helps couples break up, but their smooth partnership is interrupted when one of them falls in love with a client.

The Breaker Upperers Trailer

Mel and Jen are two women who became fast friends after they were cheated on by the same men. Hoping to put their bitter cynicism to good use, the two form The Breaker Upperers, an agency that breaks up couples for cash. But their plans and friendship are thrown into disarray when Mel falls in love with a client.

Starring the writer-director duo Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami, The Breaker Upperers looks like a hysterical and wry comedy that will live up to the Kiwi comedy legacy left behind by Taika Waititi and Flight of the Conchords. And van Beek and Sami kind of have some ties to Waititi — The Breaker Upperers is produced by Carthew Neal, who produced Waititi’s critically acclaimed hit The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. But both van Been and Sami credit Waititi and Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie for blazing the path for the New Zealand comedy scene.

“Because we wanted to write and star and co-direct, it was great for us to have What We Do in the Shadows as a model for the Commission,” van Beek told Vanity Fair. “We got to say: ‘Well, Jemaine and Taika did it.’ The Commission loved that, actually, because there’s a growing focus on opportunities for women, so we were ticking a lot of boxes. New Zealand feels ready not just to watch women be on-screen as attractive and polite, but getting away with questionable behavior. We see men doing that all the time.”

Here’s the official synopsis for The Breaker Upperers:

Fifteen years ago, Mel and Jen discovered they were being two-timed by the same man. Bitter and cynical they became fast friends and formed The Breaker Upperers, a small-time business breaking up couples for cash. Now they’re in their late-thirties and business is booming. They’re a platonic, codependent couple who keep their cynicism alive by not getting emotionally involved with anybody else. But when they run into an old victim, Mel develops a conscience and their friendship is truly put to the test.

The Breaker Upperers hits Netflix on February 15, 2019.

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